Why You Should Eat More Chocolate
Updated: Jan 20, 2019
Chocolate originally comes from the Aztec and Mayan cultures.
When the Spanish invaded South America and only 500 men strong, they were mostly interested in the shiny gold metal of the Aztec and Mayans, however, the Aztecs and Mayans valued Cocoa highly, after all, cocoa beans levied as a tax, and a currency to buy goods, was also used in ceremony by the high priest to connect with spiritual portals, higher realms and today is still used in cocoa ceremonies around the world among the new-age and spiritual seekers.
Chocolate was not originally sweet, in fact, if you have ever eaten cocoa nibs which is the chopped up cocao bean, you will have found them to be very bitter. Sugar was added to chocolate by the Spanish.
Chocolate comes from Theobroma Cacao. “Food of the Gods”.
Cocoa grows in large fruit pods on a tree which holds the seeds in a white edible fruit like a membrane. The seeds are removed and dried, fermented, roasted and ground into cocoa powder to become the cacao we eventually turn into chocolate.
The Science behind Chocolate Addiction.
Chocolate has both, positive as well as negative effects on our moods, including enhancing that feel good, elevated feeling.
Chocolate stimulates serotonin in the brain, the natural happy chemical, making chocolate a mood neurotransmitter and making us temporarily happy.
Theobromine, which is naturally found in cocoa operates as an anti-depressant. (Theobromine is toxic to animals) Chocolate is good for the heart, by increasing the receptiveness of the blood vessels which in return prevents heart diseases and may help to prevent cancer, as it contains lots of antioxidants. Pure Cocoa is an anti-aging beauty food full of magnesium and antioxidants giving the benefits of youth and great skin.
The Science of Chocolate.
Chocolate contains theobromine, caffeine, both stimulants, phenylethylamine (PEA) is a chemical that our brain releases when we fall in love. It also acts as an anti-depressant when combined with dopamine that is naturally present in the brain.
The chemical Anandamide was discovered in 1992 by a scientist naming it from the Sanskrit word Ananda meaning bliss. Anandamide helps stimulate and open synapses in the brain that allow the "feel good" waves to transmit more easily, these chemical substances have an effect on the brain and therefore a physiological effect on the body.
The brain receptors that respond to the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana react in a similar way when we digest chocolate, however, you would have to eat about twenty-five pounds of chocolate at once to get the same high.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that gets released after eating carbohydrates and or chocolate and gives our brain a feeling of calm which stabilizes moods.
Endorphins send high levels of energy and feelings of euphoria to the brain. Endorphins are also effective painkillers, not dissimilar to morphine.
Magnesium in chocolate helps the body manufacture serotonin.
Perhaps this is why some people need chocolate more than others.
Dark chocolate and milk chocolate contain the above talked about compounds. White chocolate does contain cocoa butter, which gives you the melt in your mouth sensation, but no cocoa liquor and therefore does not have the same effect.
There is actually not too much 'bad' and chocolate does get a bad wrap, of course, if you eat too much and the wrong kind, namely big brand processed chocolate, which is full of sugar, chemicals of the wrong kind, and when eaten in excess can cause weight gain in all the wrong places, chocolate for some can cause anxiety, headaches, migraine, and heartburn
To conclude. Chocolate in moderation, 70% cocoa dark is best, and less is more, you can only eat a little, it's just too dark to overdo it.
Raw Cocoa powder in your hot chocolate made with a nondairy milk, sugar-free and satisfies those chocolate needs. Cocoa Match Recipe
Eat raw cocoa nibs as snacks and in your smoothies.
Chocolate chemical research for this article from http://kkloukin.home.cern.ch/kkloukin/chocolate.htm
I am an advocate of a balanced diet, moderation is key. As the article suggests eating more chocolate what I really mean is Cocoa the sugar-free kind.